TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A Hillsborough County Sheriff's detective is being demoted and will be suspended 10 days without pay after an internal affairs investigation found him negligent for leaving his loaded gun in a Tampa movie theater bathroom stall.
Luke Hussey, a 13-year veteran of the department, will go from detective to deputy and receive a significant reduction in pay this month.
He was off-duty and celebrating Father's Day on June 16 when he left his personal 9mm Glock pistol with a 10-round magazine filled with bullets on the toilet dispenser in a Tampa theater bathroom. Hussey and his family were seeing the Superman movie Man of Steel.
Minutes later, a 9-year-old boy found the gun and told his father, Wesley Noland, a Marine veteran. Noland took the gun into a private restroom and disarmed it. Then he called 911.
By the time Hussey realized the gun was missing some 90 minutes later, it was already in the hands of Tampa police. He later retrieved it from police impound.
The Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/14FhDUH ) reports State Attorney Mark Ober reviewed the case and found no crime was committed.
"It was an isolated act of carelessness, and not a course of conduct displaying reckless disregard for human life," Ober wrote.
But the sheriff's office found Hussey violated its rule on the use, storage and handling of weapons.
In an internal affairs interview, Hussey said he was thankful no one was injured. "I try to be responsible all the time and sometimes things like this happen," Hussey told investigators.
Hussey's file contains just one other disciplinary action. In 2012, he failed to respond to a subpoena and received a letter of reprimand. Other notations in the file tout him as a team player and an asset to the sheriff's office. In a review that took place in June, just before the incident, supervisors rated him as a strong employee.
A supervisor wrote that Hussey "is a solid investigator and can be counted on to do the right thing."
Muvico theater officials sent the boy who found the gun in the bathroom a Superman backpack to thank him for his help.
Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.
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